I’d like to think that we get one´s strength back when you are asleep and, for a moment, you stop focusing at the serious tasks of job and family, in order to have a rest and let the fantasy roam. We imagine that neurons take in such events holidays, and that we can leave the brain machine functioning at slow motion.
On the opposite of this popular believe, neuroscience is showing that the major part of the brain energetic consumption is given at that kind of rest state. Near 70% of the energy that is consumed by the brain is spread in neuronal networks that aren’t related to conscious events. Certain parietal areas (above the head, at both sides) are suddenly activated communicating information in an automatic way. The background noise of that “dark energy” appears not only at the conscious state, but at light dream and even with anesthesia.
When we pay attention to something, making a focused and conscious activity, the energetic consumption increases only in a 5%. Otherwise, it’s been discovered that the basic energetic activity of these areas (linked to personal memories) drastically disappear. Before discovering that they actually form such a network system, it was called “mysterious medial parietal area”.
A system that has priority over the rest of data processing, till that one has to pay attention to the new or unexpected sensorial signs. You can even get to predict when someone is going to get absent minded, according to the activity of the DMN. When its activity increases, is very much more likely to get absent minded and therefore to make a mistake. It seems that people with Alzheimer disease start to function only with this default system, and that people depressed have enormous difficulties to exit from it. It´s such the feeling of “being in his own world” that nowadays research data is pointing out at this dysfunction at the basis schizophrenia disease, with no concluding results yet.
To the mathematic and philosopher Annie Marquier this neuronal network, so associated with personal biographic memories, would correspond to the robotic behavior of the so called “personal ego”, a prediction and control program install in fear, that has let us survive as human race. As the studies reflect, all the work made in increase conscious attention, at the core of mindfulness, would be the only way to give a rest to brain to that unfocused activity. In line with the studies of the Heartmath Institute, Marquier sees the heart as the seat of a kind of conscious coherence that let us to scape from the claws of the unconscious and automatism, with wisdom and compassion.
A consciousness of higher quality is add to attention, as result of the coordination of the network that constitute 60% of heart cells, which allow us to conduce and order even the unconscious and frenetic activity of the memories shot automatically from DMN. The key, therefore, is in keeping alert and compassive to what happens in our mind, which starts deprogramming low quality ideas and beliefs, that led us to take low quality decisions in our lives.
Mindfulness allows making more coherent and conscious decisions, integrating more media information, in a efficient way in energetic consumption terms, in lower time. We are then in the arms of the enormous intelligence of intuition.
José Miguel Sánchez Cámara